The Enemy Within
Paralyzed with frustration. This is not how it’s supposed to be. This wasn’t the plan. Everything is overwhelming now. Can’t turn to anyone but myself. Have to pay someone to listen to my problems. Needing a friend but why pretend when there are no answers in the end? No one will ever make sense of this madness and believe me I give it my all. Born into a family who was born to suffer and die young. To know death and its aftermath a little too well. Still want to be me. A changed version of me. A blend of the new and the old. A different person when we hear the call and are summoned to rise above it all. Saul became Paul in the Bible. It’s never too late. Put on the armor and draw your sword. Fight the enemy within. Always hovering around and causing problems. Living inside you. Draining your energy and turning you inside out. Steady as you go this better world is awaiting you. Greeting your arrival. Waiting on a soft landing in the end. A rain drop kiss on a flower. Turbulent Times I’m at war with myself, tired of being me. Be easy with yourself they say, don’t be your own worst enemy. But I’ve got to live in this tortured mind. It’s exhausting. Wish we lived in a world where we could swap out our minds for a few days or weeks. See how someone else likes rattling around in this labyrinth. Seeing too many points of view. And insomnia days on end. Feel like a caged animal, begging to be set free. A mind shouldn’t be a weapon, and mine’s turned against me. Rude Awakening It’s a life no one quite grasps completely. We stumble from day to day. Revel in small victories. Keep silent in our defeats. Sidestepping the spiritual matters until one day the heaviness falls on top of us out of nowhere. Then the laughter goes away and the tears fall like burning rain. We are so alone, aimlessly pursuing what we no longer care about. Left feeling not even a part of this world. Defenseless against the merciless pain. Someone sip from my cup, let me know you care. Don’t believe in bad circumstances. Hope life means more than dumb luck. Brace yourself. You’re on the ride of your life. Some day there may be time to reflect. Until then prepare for the undertow and the pull of a presence bigger than yourself. Reluctant Visitor Moments of clarity are few and far between. The sunshine sometimes helps clear the fog in my mind. Coupled with the cold on my face I somehow feel more alive. Less wanting to curl up and hide. So I continue walking aimlessly down the treacherous road of a life not chosen. My son was my world. I’m supposed to live without him now. Just like that. What kind of horror did I agree to when I signed on coming into this world? Bio: Robert Pegel is a husband and father whose only child, his son Calvin, died in his sleep at age 16. Robert writes to try and transform his grief by creating. Robert holds a BA in English from Columbia University. He has been published in Backchannels, Resurrection Magazine, Goat’s Milk, ZiN Daily, Fahmidan Journal, The Madrigal and others. He has work forthcoming in Door is a Jar and North Dakota Quarterly.